12 Simple Activities to Occupy Your Kids During Spring Break
It’s springtime! You know what that means: spring break!
With the children home from school, you may need some new ideas to pull out when your crew plays the boredom card. Here are 12 different activities to the rescue.
The materials required are all common household items, so you don’t need to stock up on anything special.
For each activity, I’ve included three quick ways your child will benefit from each activity since your child will be practicing important skills while playing.
The activities are broken down into four different categories to ensure that we mix things up a bit. After all, no one should be bored with boredom busters over spring break.
My kids love being crafty. Me? Not so creative in the art department. My solution? Simple art! My four year old can create these projects right along with the older kids.
1. Ripping Art
The task: Create a layered springtime scene from paper without using scissors.
- Paper—Colored construction paper or white paper your kids can color
- Glue sticks—way less messy than real glue
The Process: Crafters decides on scenes to make. Then they rip the pieces they’ll need out of pieces of paper and glue each piece to a full sheet of paper. When they’re done, have a show and share time to admire everyone’s artwork.
- Fosters creativity
- Improves spatial sense (what size do the pieces need to be to fit?)
- Improves fine motor skills
2. Box Art
The Task: Turn all of those Amazon Prime delivery boxes into something amazing.
- Coloring supplies
- Aluminum foil
- Glue sticks
- Anything else you have on hand you don’t mind the kids using
The Process: Crafters make a plan for their boxes and create something with them. Turn the kids loose—they’ll figure out what to do!
- Improves planning skills
- Fosters learning about designing
- Bolsters critical thinking skills
3. Drawing in the Bag
The Task: Draw a picture without looking.
- Large paper bag
The Process: Set your kids up with pieces of paper inside paper bags. Ask them to draw pictures without looking. They grab their pencils, put their hands in their bags, and use their other hands to hold the bags closed. They start drawing, and, when they’re done, they pull their papers out to examine their art.
- Encourages body/space awareness
- Fosters patience
- Improves fine motor skills
While the weather may be decent where you are, the spring here can be downright cold. We’re still spending lots of time inside. These activities will encourage movement in an indoor-friendly way.
4. Toilet Paper Toss
The Task: Knock over a stack of plastic cups with a roll of toilet paper.
- Six plastic cups of the same size
- A roll of toilet paper
- Masking tape
The Process: First, take a piece of masking tape and seal up the roll of toilet paper. You definitely don’t want it unrolling all over your living room! Then, stack up the cups in a pyramid with three on the bottom row. Use the masking tape to mark a line on the ground, about five feet back. One at a time, throwers grab the toilet paper roll and toss it towards the stack. The goal is to knock down all the cups. Restack the cups after each turn.
- Develops gross motor skills
- Improves balance
- Fosters motor planning
5. Marshmallow Hoops
The Task: Toss as many marshmallows as possible into the bowl.
- A bag of mini-marshmallows
- A large plastic bowl
The Process: Throwers stand five to 10 feet away from the bowl with a pile of marshmallows. They pick up marshmallows and try to toss them into the bowl. Challenge them to see how many they can get in a row.
- Improves aim
- Increases eye/hand coordination
- Encourages body/space planning
6. Sock Juggling
The Task: Use rolled up socks as juggling balls and try to keep all three in the air.
- Three pairs of rolled up socks for each juggler
- Music to make it more fun
The Process: Start off with one sock. Throw it in an arc with the highest point at eye level. Let it drop into the other hand. Repeat, alternating throwing hands. Once the juggler is comfortable with one sock, add in a second. Hold one pair in each hand and toss the one in the dominant hand first. When the first ball reaches eye level, toss the second. Then, catch ball number one. When the second ball gets to eye level, throw the first ball again. To add in the third roll of socks, hold two pairs in one hand. Throw one of those first and launch the second one when it reaches eye-level. Catch ball one; when ball two reaches eye level, throw ball three. When it reaches eye level, toss ball one again. Repeat. Turn on some music and try it!
- Improves timing
- Increases eye/hand coordination
- Provides practice with sequencing
Construction Brick Activities
These activities all revolve around construction bricks because my kids all LOVE LEGOs! They’re so versatile and the perfect toy to pull out when boredom strikes.
7. Pinch and Build
The Task: Pinch a construction brick with a pair of tongs and add it to a stack.
- At least 20 construction bricks (such as LEGOs)
- A pair of kitchen tongs
The Process: Set the bricks in a pile on a flat surface with the tongs nearby. The builder must stack up all 20 bricks. However, she can only touch the bricks with the tongs.
- Improves precision
- Encourages attention to detail
- Provides practice with troubleshooting (if one strategy doesn’t work)
8. Blindfolded Build
The Task: Build something out of construction bricks without peeking.
- Your construction brick collection (LEGOs)
- A blindfold (scarves work well)
The Process: Let the builder check out the brick collection and decide what to build. Give him a few minutes to set out the pieces he’ll need. When the builder is ready, take a moment to tie the blindfold over his eyes. He gets to use his sense of touch to complete his build. After he’s connected all the pieces, let him remove the blindfold. Have him compare what he actually built to what he wanted to build. If desired, you can let him rebuild it with his eyes open.
- Encourages planning and setting out materials
- Increases tactile awareness
- Encourages self-assessment
9. Buddy Build
The Task: Work with a buddy to build something amazing one piece at a time.
- Your construction brick collection
- A buddy
The Process: The youngest builder goes first. She selects a brick and places it on the table. The next builder takes another brick and connects it to the first. Continue building — one brick at a time. Encourage the builders to brainstorm what they could be building as the bricks take shape. This activity doesn’t really have an official ending. Builders keep going until they both decide they’re done.
- Encourages communication
- Improves creativity
- Provides practice with taking turns
Science doesn’t have to be complicated! With just a few common supplies, you can encourage your kids to think scientifically about the world around them.
10. Water Magnifier
The Task: Create a mini magnifying glass out of water droplets and experiment with other liquids.
- An old piece of newspaper
- A piece of plastic wrap the size of the newspaper
- A glass of water
- Liquids from the kitchen: vanilla extract, lemon juice, pickle juice, vinegar, etc.
- Small paper cups (one for each liquid)
- A straw
Have your child stretch the plastic wrap over the newspaper on a flat surface.
Once the plastic is in place, have your child dip one end of the straw into the glass of water. Have her pull it out of the cup and hold it over the plastic. A drop or two of water should fall onto the plastic.
Encourage your child to look at the size of the newsprint through the plastic and through the water droplets. What does she notice?
The letters are magnified.
Brainstorm what could cause this. It’s the way the light bends through water.
Ask your child if she thinks other liquids will have the same result. Help her think of liquids to test and place a small amount of each into a small paper cup.
Test one liquid at a time. Use the straw to put a few drops onto the newspaper. Does this liquid make the letters look bigger, too?
Continue until you’ve tested all the cups. Talk about your results. Did they surprise you?
- Encourages scientific thinking
- Provides practice with conducting an experiment
- Improves communication skills
11. Signs of Spring Walk
The Task: Discover as many signs of spring as possible in your neighborhood.
- A camera (if desired)
- A notebook and pencil
The Process: Head outside on a fair-weather day and scope out signs of spring. As you or your child find one, document it with a camera or a quick sketch in the notebook.
You might spy:
- A bird’s nest
- Birds flying back from the south
- Baby animals
- Green grass
- Leaves budding on trees
- Flowers growing
- Melting snow running down the road
- Mud puddles
- Increases observation skills
- Encourages paying attention to detail
- Provides practice with documenting findings
12. Animal Acting
The Task: Players take turns acting out an animal’s behavior. The other players try to guess the animal.
The Process: Pick a player to go first. That player secretly picks an animal and begins to walk like that creature. The other players guess what animal it is. If the animal’s movements don’t give it away, the actor can add sounds to help the other players guess.
- Encourages critical thinking
- Provides practice with connecting observations and movement (matching movements to animals’ movements)
- Improves gross motor skills
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This post was written by Lisa Tanner exclusively for BonBon Break Media LLC.